Leonard Norman Cohen, who was born in Montreal - and has been honored with The Order of Canada (CC) and the National Order of Quebec (GOQ) - is a singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963.
His work, including song lyrics, often explores religion, isolation, sexuality and interpersonal relationships. He has spent several years in a Zen Buddhist monastery, is extremely well-regarded and respected by fans and critics alike for his literary accomplishments, the richness of his lyrics, and for producing high artistic quality for 50 years.
Over 2,000 renditions of Cohen's songs have been recorded. Cohen has been inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Lou Reed, who spoke at Cohen's induction into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10, 2008, described Cohen as belonging to the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters."
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